Jan. 9th, 2015

elaby: (Lestrade - CJ <3 guh.)
I had a really nice, low-key Christmas. We invited my parents over to our house on Christmas Eve and ate delicious appetizers and desserts. We popped Christmas crackers, played with the little toys inside, looked at nineteenth-century photographs of Kittery Point (where my parents and I grew up, not to mention both sides of my family going wayyyy back), and giggled over a Victorian young woman’s health and hygiene guide I borrowed from Rachel’s library.

On Christmas morning, Rachel and I drove over to my parents’ house with three boxes stuffed full of gifts. We ate bagels for breakfast, opened the stockings (a Rachel tradition! My family always opened stockings last, but we converted when Rachel joined us :3), and spent the next several hours opening presents. We open them one at a time so everybody can watch <3 I was very blessed with goodies this year! Here’s a run-down of my favorites:

- Additional RAM for my laptop. It makes SUCH a difference! My laptop only had 2 MB before, and just opening/closing Text Pad was a nightmare. Heaven help me if I wanted to open more than five tabs in Chrome. Now I have 8 MB and things work so much faster. I can actually load multiple .gifs now without Chrome asking me if I want to kill the page!

- Rachel got me a set of Lord of the Rings sampler teas from Adagio <3 <3 <3 IT IS SO COOL. Teas include White Tea of Kings, Elevenses, Wizard’s Grey, Second Breakfast, Barrels of Tea (the only one I’ve tried so far – DELICIOUS), and Enchanted Tea.

- My parents got both of Rachel and me Fantasy Life, a 3DS game that we absolutely adore. It’s a mixture of questing, crafting, and monster-slaying where you’re able to choose a Life (like a profession – I’m a cook right now) and improve at it until you’re a master. You can switch Lives as often as you want so you can experience all of them, and your progress in previous Lives remains the same. The plot is charming and the dialogue is hilarious. I have yet to become frustrated with any aspect of the game, which is really remarkable. I love it <3

- I got two books on Neolithic tombs and monuments, one that explores the spirituality associated with them and one big coffee-table book full of lush photos. I can’t wait to immerse myself in both of them.

- Aster got some really badass new clothes, which you can see on my Flickr. She also got a gorgeous pink/purple galaxy-patterned sweatshirt which I haven’t taken pictures of yet.

- I got a DVD of AKB48’s documentary, To Be Continued, which follows their career throughout 2011. It’s swoonworthy. They’re all so freaking cute. It had a lot of interviews and discussed how they’re encouraged to put their personality into their performance (when most of them assumed they’d have to conform to a specific “idol” image). I don’t know how much of it is fabricated for the fans, but they seem to really care about each other and consider themselves a family.

- Rachel got me several scarves from Mexicali Blues on sale, and they’re soft and happy <3 I’m wrapped in one right now! I also got some flannel-lined khaki pants (man, should’ve worn those today ¬_¬), a sweater, and some socks at the L.L. Bean’s outlet. Yay for discount Bean’s clothes!

- We took advantage of the Fable Tribe closing sale to get a bunch of gorgeous Glamourkins <3 <3 <3

We had snacks for lunch, as usual (chips and dip, devilled eggs, crackers and cheese, and nuts), and lasagna for dinner with my mother’s apple pie afterwards – she makes the best apple pie known to man.

This year, I took the week after Christmas off, for the first time (when we weren’t traveling to Colorado) since I graduated from college. It was PHENOMENAL XD We spent whole days playing Fantasy Life; we visited bead shops and stocked up on varied and nutritious bird food for the finches; we moved a table my dad had fixed up for us from my parents’ basement and set up a new doll photography area; we went to the movies TWICE IN ONE DAY (something I’ve never done before XD Made possible by a movie gift card I won at work and my manager’s holiday Chipotle gift card); we cleaned and rearranged and flopped around doing nothing. I had to go back to work on Friday, but I was one of three people in the office so it didn’t feel like a “real” work day. I haven’t had such a relaxing holiday in a long time :)

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